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Engineering Skills and Expertise to Add to Your CV

Published on: 8 Mar 2024

Whenever you apply for a new job, you should update your resume and/or CV to match that position. Different industries require different skills, and engineering is one where a very specific set of skills, certifications and education are important.

Engineering Skills and Expertise to

As your resume is the first opportunity you have to make an impression and you’ve got to catch a recruiter’s eye within the first few seconds, here’s a few tips to make sure your CV has the right information in the right places.

Important Skills In Engineering Fields

Engineering is a broad term that encases different specialties. Some engineering specialities include:

  • Industrial
  • Chemical
  • Biomedical
  • Aerospace
  • Structural
  • Agricultural

While every specialty requires different skills, there are some general skills that you should highlight heavily in your CV in ANY engineering field.

Transferable Skills

Engineering skills can be broken down into several groups. The first is transferable skills, which are skills that transfer from job to job. As you consider these, think of the following ones that are beneficial in engineering jobs.

  • Communication: With the technical aspects of engineering, it’s important that you have accurate, concise communication skills and ways to highlight them.
  • Organization: Engineers' jobs revolve around processes, and there’s a specific order applied to each, so organizational skills are a must.
  • Critical thinking skills: Engineering careers often combine science with innovation, so being able to sort through proven fact versus opinion is important.
  • Regulation experience: As a highly-regulated sector, those in the industry must understand the importance of rules and regulations and how to follow them.

Education History

Another section to focus on in an engineering CV is your education history. Most engineering positions require at least a Bachelor's degree or more. Specialized fields may require additional certification or education. As you apply for jobs, look in the “Required” section of the description to determine what parts of your education are most relevant.

Hard Engineering Skills

These are often included in the Work Experience section of your CV. Consider what hard engineering skills and experience you have. Some examples may include:

  • Quality control
  • Design
  • Manufacturing
  • Programming

Here are a few ways to describe these skills in your CV:

  • Designed quality control processes and maintained for one year to increase productivity by 10%.
  • Created a process in line with industry standards so correctly manufactured goods increased by 5%, eliminating waste and ensuring compliance.
  • Helped develop new building materials, ran them through a structural analysis and determined which were safest and strongest.

Top Skills and Keywords in Engineering Job Descriptions

Jobs may be plentiful, but they can be hard to get if you aren’t sure how to get through roadblocks like applicant tracking systems, overworked recruiters and hundreds of applicants. To make sure you stand out, we put together a list of the most commonly used keywords and skills required in engineering positions.

Job Descriptions

Job descriptions often hold keywords that are used to program applicant tracking systems, so a description can tell a lot about what should be included on your CV. Watch for the following words in any engineering job description and transfer that to your CV before you apply: technical, computer science, innovation, electricity, collaboration, communication skills, analysis, troubleshooting, project management and documentation

This doesn't mean that all these words should be in every CV you submit. Check every job listing you apply for, pick the words listed that match up, and make sure your CV shows how you are skilled in those areas. 

Resumes and CVs

In determining what keywords are used most often in job descriptions, we can also glean information about what skills are included in most engineering resumes.

The following are the top ten keywords listed in resumes for engineering positions, with the first three representing 37% of the total: technical, troubleshooting, analysis, MS office, project management, electricity, AutoCAD, Microsoft Excel, SolidWorks and mechanical engineering.

When researching these, you can see where the job descriptions and resumes start to line up, creating a successful match that’s more likely to get you the job.

Watch for Specific Experience or Competency

In some ways, engineering job descriptions are easy to read. Many require competency, experience or skill with specific software programs or operating systems. If the description includes any type of name brand program, make sure it’s included in your CV. The recruiter may be trained to skip any CV or resume of a person who doesn’t have that specific experience.

When looking at these programs, be conscious of any different terms used for them. For example, computer aided design may be listed as experience with CAD systems.

Match your CV to the exact working listed on the job description.

Breaking Down Job Descriptions

In all fields, you’ll come across job descriptions that are succinct, and others that could be improved. Because you can’t control how the description is written, it’s important to pick out the important parts. Here are a few tips to help with that:

  • Watch for keywords in the job title.
  • Check closely for important concepts about values and culture in the overview.
  • Read through the responsibilities to ensure you are competent to do the job, or will be when you’re hired.
  • Make sure you have ALL the specific qualifications when it comes to education and experience.
  • Sort through the daily responsibilities for transferable or soft skills to include in your CV.

Earning an engineering degree is a big accomplishment, and the payoff should match the work. With just a little bit of effort in tailoring your CV for different engineering jobs, you greatly increase your chances of getting the job you deserve.